How to Export IFC in Revit for Use in FME

Liz Sanderson
Liz Sanderson
  • Updated

FME Version

  • FME 2019.x

Introduction

To integrate Revit files in FME you can use Revit’s built-in IFC Exporter (File > Export > IFC) to export an IFC file. Once you have your file, use FME’s IFC with Data Views for Revit reader to open your file in FME. This example demonstrates how to use FME’s IFC with Data Views for Revit reader with Revit’s IFC Exporter with FME 2019+ and Revit 2019+.

 

Pre-requisites

  • Revit, Revit Architecture, Revit MEP, or Revit Structure, version 2019 or newer

  • 64-bit FME Desktop, version 2019.0 or newer

 

Installing the IFC Exporter plug-in

The IFC Exporter plug-in is shipped with Autodesk Revit so there’s no need to install it separately. Autodesk provides updates via its app store.

 

Using the IFC Exporter plug-in

Follow the instructions in Autodesk’s Revit IFC manual.

For most conversions, we recommend:

IFC Version: FME can read both IFC 2x3 and IFC4

File Type: IFC

Phase to Export: Default Phase works in most cases, but you may need to explicitly choose a phase to get all of the project

Space Boundaries: 1st or 2nd Level

 

Reading IFC from FME

IFC to CityGML - Basic

This example demonstrates a simple translation of a low detail IFC model to a CityGML document

 

IFC to CityGML - Intermediate

This example shows how to convert from a high detail IFC model to a CityGML document with a Level of Detail of four. The example workspace is comprehensive enough to handle most Architectural IFC datasets.

 

IFC to CityGML - Advanced

This example demonstrates combining both high and low detail IFC data into a single CityGML document with multiple Levels of Detail.

 


  • As of FME 2022.0, the FME Integration Console will no longer be available in FME Desktop. For more information, please see the FME Integreation Console Deprecation article.

    How to use FME Exporter for Revit

    Note: The FME Exporter for Revit has been discontinued for FME 2019+ since it essentially duplicates a capability that already exists in all versions of Revit.

    When we first created the FME Exporter plugin for Revit, it was built upon Revit’s own IFC exporter, along with some extra information that we thought might be useful. However, over the last few years we have come to realize that all the information useful to our users could be found in the IFC component of the RVZ file, and that the exporter was redundant. The Revit .rvz reader is capable of reading IFC files, and produces exactly the same features from them.

    With our introduction of the native Autodesk Revit (*.rvt) reader in FME 2019+, we have repurposed the original Autodesk Revit (*.rvz) reader as the IFC with Data Views (FME Exporter for Revit) reader. This reader still offers the simplest method to extract information from IFC data into GIS or CAD, and will continue to be maintained. Our recommended method is to use the IFC with Data Views reader with Revit’s native IFC Exporter plug-in.

     

    Introduction

    This example demonstrates how to use the FME Exporter for Revit, from installing the plugin, to single and batch exports, creating .rvz files from .rvt to be used in FME Workbench FME 2018 and prior, and Revit 2018 and prior.

     

    Q: What is the FME Exporter?

    A: The FME Exporter is a free plugin for Revit to export .rvz files. These .rvz files are essentially an IFC export, enriched with additional data such as property sets, and can be used within your FME integration workflows. Please note that while the extension is free, an FME license or trial license is required to use the Add-in.

     

    Pre-requisites

    • Revit, Revit Architecture, Revit MEP, or Revit Structure, versions 2013 - 2018
    • FME 2015 to 2018
    • If you are working with 32-bit Revit, you will need to install 32-bit FME Desktop. To work with 64-bit Revit, 64-bit FME Desktop is required.

     

    Installing the plugin

    The plugin should be automatically installed when you install FME 64 bit, or the standalone FME Exporter for Revit. Note that the plugin won't be accessible until you load a project into Revit.

    http_download_1444329544407_6032.png
     

    If you installed FME 64 bit, but the FME Export plugin does not appear in Revit, you may need to manually extend it. To do this start the application FME\Utilities\FME Integration Console from the Start menu:

    fme-integration-console-extend.png

     

    If you get a message that ‘Administrative Privileges are Required’, close the program, right-click on it and reopen it with ‘Run as Administrator’. If the status of the FME Exporter for Revit is Not Extended, click the Extend button to the right. If the Status is Extended, click the Revert button to the right, then the Extend button to re-extend it.

    fme-integraion-console-revert.png

    The FME Exporter plugin has successfully been extended in the FME Integration Console.

     

    Using the FME Exporter

    After starting the FME Exporter, the Export dialog will appear. The FME exporter is essentially an extended version of the Revit IFC Exporter, so the dialogs are identical. The exporter offers a selection of pre-built setups to choose from.

    export-ifc.png

    To use your own settings, choose <In-Session Setup>, then click the Modify Setup button.

    modify-setup.png

    For more information on this dialog, please see the Autodesk Help (IFC Export Setup Options)


    For most conversions, we recommend:

    • IFC Version: FME can read both IFC 2x3 and IFC4
    • File Type: IFC
    • Phase to Export: Default Phase works in most cases, but you may need to explicitly choose a phase to get all of the project
    • Space Boundaries: 1st or 2nd Level

    file-type.png

     

    Base Quantities and Property Sets: Check all.

    property-sets.png

     

    Split walls and columns by level: Check this if you will be using the Floorplan data view in the FME Revit reader, leave unchecked for other data view.

    general.png

     

    Export 2D plan view elements: Check this if you will be using the Floorplan data view in the FME Revit reader.

    export-2d-plan-view.png

     

    Include IFCSITE elevation in the site local placement: Check this for better geo-referencing.

    include-ifcsite.png

     

    Once you have adjusted your setup, click the Export Button and choose the output RVZ file location.

    export-rvz.png

    The file is now ready to import into FME.

     

    Batch Exports

    The FME Exporter for Revit can be configured to be run in a "headless" mode. It is headless in the sense that you do not need to manually start Revit.exe, open a dataset, and click through the buttons to export the dataset.

    Instead, you launch Revit.exe with a dataset and the export will happen automatically, with Revit.exe automatically closing when done. This can be very easily added to a batch script, so that multiple .rvz exports can be carried out without manual intervention.

     

    For example, the following will export the dataset 'file.rvt' headlessly:

    Revit.exe file.rvt

    Of course, you don't want this Export event to happen every time a dataset is opened in Revit, so FME looks for the existence of "rvzAutoExportFile" in the Windows Temp directory (e.g. C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Temp). When that file is not present, Revit.exe will revert to its normal behavior.

     

    You can automatically create the "rvzAutoExportFile" in your batch, then delete it when finished:

    echo a > %TEMP%\rvzAutoExportFile
    "C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit 2016\Revit.exe" "Building1.rvt"
    "C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit 2016\Revit.exe" "Building2.rvt"
    del %TEMP%\rvzAutoExportFile
    Please note that if your version of Revit is newer than what the projects were created in, Revit will update the models. This may bring up dialogs you need to respond to before the process will continue.

     

    The output files from the batch export will be saved in the following directory:

    "C:\Users\<user>\Documents\FME Exporter for Revit\2017\exported"

     

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